The Essential Residential Swimming Pool Inspection Checklist

In-ground pools provide homes with luxury, style, and value. It must be regularly inspected and maintained to ensure your pool retains its quality. If an issue arises with the pool’s equipment or materials, it can cost significant money to fix. Regular pool inspections allow you to identify minor problems before they get worse. 

Most pool inspections are performed before maintenance. During this process, the inspector will look at everything from the pool’s interior to the equipment. You can also perform this inspection yourself to gain a more informed understanding of your pool’s current maintenance and repair needs. 

By making a pool inspection checklist residential, you can perform this process in a structured manner. This guide explores the residential swimming pool inspection checklist and the steps that should be part of it.

Pre-Inspection Preparation

Before you inspect your swimming pool, there are a few steps you should take. For example, gather all the necessary equipment and tools for this process. While most of the inspection involves visually checking the condition of the pool and its equipment, you should still wear safety gear, including everything from boots and gloves to goggles and masks. 

A vital element of any inspection is the report that details the results. When performing the inspection, take a notebook alongside a pen or pencil. You should also have a camera to snap photos of damaged areas requiring additional attention. 

Look for any maintenance records or warranties associated with your pool. You need to review this documentation before performing the inspection. Let’s say you inspect the pool and find the filter damaged. If you review the filter’s warranty before starting the inspection, you’ll automatically know if the damage will be covered

Exterior Inspection

A sizable portion of any pool inspection involves checking the exterior. From the pool’s foundation to nearby gates, there are numerous areas you’ll need to inspect to ensure there aren’t any issues that could degrade the quality of your pool. Check the pool’s structure and foundation to ensure everything’s in good shape

Make sure to also inspect the patio and surrounding deck for signs of chipping or other issues. Among the most critical aspects of the surrounding deck is the “coping,” which is the 12-18 inches of concrete, stone, or brick spanning the pool’s edges. If the coping contains chips, there’s a higher chance that debris will get into the pool or people will trip when walking along the edge. Look for stains on the decking as well. 

The fencing and gates surrounding the pool should be checked to ensure they are up to code. The city you live in invariably maintains building codes, which apply to everything from your fence to your home’s foundation. If you don’t follow the proper building codes, you may face consequences when selling your property. You could be asked to tear down the parts of your home that aren’t up to code. You could also be fined. Most lenders will only underwrite loans for properties with permitted work

Ensure you inspect the landscaping and drainage in the vicinity of your pool. Look for pitches or tilts that might affect how well the water drains away from the pool. Your gutters should also be positioned away from the area to avoid rainwater getting into the pool

Equipment Inspection

Now that you’ve inspected the pool’s exterior, it’s time to evaluate the equipment thoroughly. For example, the pool pump and filter system must be checked to ensure they run correctly. The equipment may leak if there’s an issue with the water pressure or filter. To maintain the equipment’s efficiency, you may need to request repair and maintenance services from a professional

If the pool is outfitted with a timer system, check if it’s correctly wired and in good shape. If you have a pool heater, it needs to be inspected. All light fixtures should be free of condensation as well. During the inspection, assess the condition of the drains and skimmers. Look for larger debris that might be clogging the system. 

Water Quality Assessment

No residential swimming pool inspection checklist is complete without a water quality assessment. If the pool water quality is high, it will be comfortable to swim in. It might also contain high contaminant levels that increase the risk of getting sick. The water chemistry should be kept within normal limits at all times. Make sure you measure the following:

  • Current pH levels
  • Total alkalinity
  • Chlorine or other sanitizers
  • Calcium hardness

Keep in mind that pH levels range from 0-14. Anything below 7.0 is acidic. Readings above 7.0 are alkaline. The ideal pH levels for in-ground swimming pools are 7.0-7.5. When the water is acidic, it likely contains high contaminant levels. If the water is too alkaline, calcium hardness might increase to levels that make your pool water uncomfortable. 

The recommended range of calcium hardness is 200-400 ppm. The pool water might become cloudy if the calcium level is too high. You may also notice scale deposits along the pool surfaces. When calcium levels are too low, plaster surfaces can be damaged. Maintaining the right water chemistry is crucial to keeping the pool and equipment in good condition. 

Interior Inspection

When inspecting the interior of your pool, look closely at the surface to determine if there are any imperfections. Whether your surface consists of fiberglass, tiles, or vinyl liner, cracks can develop in the material. If you have tiles, look for cracks on the paste between each tile. These issues should be repaired immediately if you discover signs of cracks, damage, or leaks.

Make sure you’re also looking for the presence of algae and other contaminants. If your pool contains a considerable amount of algae, the water will appear green. While pool algae are usually not harmful, they may contain bacteria that can cause illnesses to spread.

Safety Features Evaluation

A vital aspect of a swimming pool inspection involves evaluating the safety features. Look at the optional and required safety equipment to ensure everything works correctly. For example, the safety alarms and pool lights must function correctly. It’s also essential that you have the necessary pool and drain covers. If you have first aid kits, life rings, and other safety equipment, ensure you can access them when needed. 

Electrical Systems Check

The pool’s electrical systems will need to be checked during the inspection. You can evaluate the condition of specific electrical components, such as lights and pumps. However, it would be best to ask a professional inspector or electrician to ensure the system complies with all local electrical codes. They’ll also need to look at the electrical wiring to make sure it has the necessary GFCI protection. This form of grounding prevents electrocution in the event of a malfunction. Any signs of corrosion or damage to the electrical system should be immediately addressed.

Structural Integrity Assessment

Part of a swimming pool inspection involves looking for signs of structural damage or deterioration, which may require more complex repairs. Check the stability of the pool’s slides, diving boards, and other accessories. If the pool’s structural integrity is lacking in some manner, wait to let anyone swim in it until repairs have been made.

Maintenance Recommendations

Once you’ve completed the swimming pool inspection, it’s time to measure the results. Determine which issues require immediate actions or repairs. It’s also a good idea to implement long-term maintenance to limit future repairs. For example, consider obtaining an automatic pool cleaner. You should also test the water chemistry every month to ensure you’re using the right amount of chlorine. Consider shocking the pool every two to four weeks to eliminate bacteria.

Even if you’ve installed an automatic pool cleaner, brush the bottom and sides of the pool to loosen dirt every month or so. Chemically clean the filter each month as well. When performing long-term maintenance, check the seals in the pump and motor. You should also look for tears in your liner. To enhance safety and efficiency, make sure your pool contains railings, steps, and other safety equipment.


Regular inspections are essential to maintain the condition of your pool and its equipment. Inspections also allow you to avoid everything from algae growth to waterborne illnesses. With this pool inspection checklist residential in hand, you’ll have everything you need to thoroughly inspect your pool. Once you perform an inspection, make sure you maintain the pool. The results of your inspection will show you where to start. Prioritizing pool maintenance can save you money and extend your pool’s lifespan.

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